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Malcolm X (1992)

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

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(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tommy Hollis ...
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Sidney
Jean-Claude La Marre ...
Benjamin 2X (as Jean LaMarre)
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Pete
Larry McCoy ...
Sammy
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Storyline

Biograpical epic of Malcolm X, the legendary African American leader. Born Malcolm Little, his father (a Garveyite Baptist minister) was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings when let out of jail, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, there he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim and changes his name to El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz. He is assassinated on February 21, 1965 and dies a Muslim martyr. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence, and for drugs and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

X  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$48,169,908 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spike Lee encountered difficulty in securing a sufficient budget. Lee told Warner Bros. and the bond company that a budget of over 30 million dollars was necessary; the studio disagreed, and offered a lower amount. Following advice from fellow director Francis Ford Coppola, Lee "got the movie company pregnant," taking it far enough along into actual production to attempt to force the studio to increase the budget. The film, initially budgeted at 28 million dollars, climbed to nearly 33 million dollars. Lee contributed two million dollars of his own three million dollar salary. Completion Bond Company, which assumed financial control in January 1992, refused to approve any more expenditures; in addition, the studio and bond company instructed Lee that the film could be no longer than two hours and fifteen minutes in length; the resulting conflict caused the project to be shut down in post-production. The film was saved by the financial intervention of prominent black Americans, some of whom appear in the film: Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Janet Jackson, Prince, and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Their contributions were made as donations; as Lee noted, "This is not a loan. They are not investing in the film. These are black folks with some money, who came to the rescue of the movie. As a result, this film will be my version. Not the bond company's version, not Warner Brothers'. I will do the film the way it ought to be, and it will be over three hours." The actions of such prominent members of the African American community giving their money helped finish the project as Lee envisioned it. See more »

Goofs

When Benjamin leaves the coffee shop after talking to Malcolm X about joining the Brotherhood of Islam, the bodyguard is on his left. When the camera angle is changed toward the front door, the same bodyguard is on his right. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: In the name of Allah the merciful, all praises due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The one God to whom praise is due forever. The one who came to us in the person of Master Fard Muhammad and raised up the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Amen.
[pause]
Announcer: Asalaam-alaikum!
Crowd: Alaikum-salaam!
Announcer: How do you feel?
Crowd: Good!
Announcer: Who do we want to hear?
Crowd: Malcolm X!
Announcer: Are we gonna bring him on? Yes, we gonna bring him on. Well let us hear from our minister, Minister Malcolm X. Let us bring him on with a round of ...
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Crazy Credits

Throughout the credits are archival photographs of Malcolm X. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Independent (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Stardust
Written by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish
Performed by Lionel Hampton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant
15 March 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film was absolutely brilliant. Spike Lee is a genius. We're studying him in my film class and a lot of his works are controversial, but I think they're necessary. Malcolm X was beautifully acted by Denzel. He took Malcolm's mannerisms and passion into himself and carved this wonderful character. The film traced him from a young kid to his Nat'list days to his death. His beliefs were different, but he never compromised himself. Considering where he came from and the time he grew up in, no one can really yell and scream about why he was the way he was. So many want to glorify King as the only leader of the time, but X was a leader in his own right. His ideas weren't that different from King's. His approach was honest and a response to the times. Denzel shows every emotion in his face that seemed to formulate in his mind. I seriously thought of him as Malcolm. He really had to earn people's respect from the background he came from and I liked that. Nothing was glossed over and no stone left unturned. Malcolm X is a great film and worth the watch!


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